Vanessa Fraser, Brantford Member Since July 2008 Artist StatementVanessa Fraser is a graduate of Graphic Design Production, at Mohawk College Brantford Campus.
I love to experiment in different mediums, particularly the richness and challenge of oils. I feel that it is a privilege, to be able to paint and create art, and to me it’s very much a profound experience. Before I sign my name to a piece, I look at it and wonder if I got the message and mood right, is it complete in it’s self.
I am a visually impaired artist and I don’t find this to be a hindrance. Most of the time I do quite well, and at other times I simply use my ID cane when my eyes need a rest. I have a hereditary eye disease called Keratoconus. I have had a successful cornea transplant in the right eye, however it is very stigmatized and far-sighted. My left eye seems to have stopped degenerating, a very good thing, but the vision in that eye is like peering through a glass fish bowl. I have been wondering whether the combination of far-sighted and near-sighted eyesight helps my paintings to appear more three dimensional.
To me, my art isn't simply born from my eyes alone, even the simplest of observations often require a little more time. It’s like a treasure hunt for the hidden details. And sometimes my other senses will come into play, often they will show through in my work. Even if the subject is as common as a group of pears, it is only satisfying to me if they look delicious and edible.
I don’t mind being recognized as a Black Canadian artist, and it gives me a desire to express the Mulatto on canvas. For me, being Mulatto began with some childhood emotional pain. But today as an artist I see it as an opportunity for creativity, and this portion of my creative journey will hopefully bring similar hearts and minds along with me to a sense of healing and self discovery.
One of my future plans is to visit Nova Scotia and spend a few years getting to know the history and the people there. I am drawn to Nova Scotia because it is where my Canadian roots began.
In 2001 I began Graphic Design Production at Mohawk College. In my first year I had won 1st place in the $1,000.00 StoreImage Scholarship Award. I was especially proud because I was told that this was the first time this award had ever been received by a first year student. In 2003 I earned my diploma, and I am very grateful to have had the financial assistance of The Children’s Aid Society of Brant in supporting my education with their Endowment Fund. I was later honored to receive the T. Dixon Moore Award for being Brantford’s first Crown Ward to graduate College, and in 2008 I was nominated for the Arthur Binkley Award. Thank you!